Five For Friday

TGIF! It means that it's time for Doodle Bugs Teachings' Five for Friday linky party.


My math intervention group is working with fractions, so we used Ed Emberley's "Picture Pie" as the inspiration for the fraction art.


My kids checked out different surfaces to see what reflects light the best. Pretty good reflection off the aluminum foil!


At home I finally got the top put together for a quilt I'm making for my granddaughter. Feels great to finally make progress on what was my 2012 "learn to quilt" project!


I've been implementing the Scoreboard from Whole Brain Teaching the past couple weeks. It's beginning to pay off with my homeroom class, which is filled with challenging kiddos. (You can read about the Scoreboard here.)


Each day we play for a prize with the Scoreboard. My class finally won! Friday afternoon they get a cookie party. They will get to decorate their own cookie with tubes of icing (and eat them, of course)! The funny thing is that my well-behaved class didn't win this one, so it's even sweeter for the other class :)


Math Lit: Safari Park

Safari Park is another fun math book from Stuart J. Murphy. Safari Park is a new theme park, and Grandpa promised to take all his grandchildren on the day it opens. When the big day comes, he divides 100 tickets among the 5 kids. By the time they get there, Paul has lost his tickets! Grandpa says the other 4 will have to take Paul on a ride. 

To make sure their tickets will last, lots of math must be worked out. Each grandchild comes up with a plan for the rides and games they want. Each time they have to solve for an unknown (algebraic thinking). This book is full of math and lends itself to a number of activities for your students to do.

I'm working on a product to go with this book; I want to use it in April during test week. I always try to have some new, fun activities for our afternoons after spending the morning on the state test. I think they will love this story :)



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The big sale starts tomorrow! Everything in my store is discounted 20%, which will make them 28% off with the promo code. Happy shopping :)



We are wrapping up a science unit in which we investigated reflection and refraction. The textbook talks about the pencil in the water demonstration, but I find it much more meaningful to students if we actually do it as an inquiry lesson. Here is our recording sheet we used and then glued into our interactive science notebooks:

Now that we are {more than} halfway through the year, I expect students to do all the writing rather than me filling in some of the sheet. To get started, I passed out the sheet to each student and placed a clear plastic cup and a new pencil on each table for two students to use. I then asked them to think about how we might use the materials to demonstrate refraction. They quickly came up with step 1 (fill the cup with water) and step 2 (place a pencil in the cup). After filling those in, they put the pencil in the water and then wrote their observation and conclusion.

This took just a few minutes and easily available materials, and it gave students a great visual as they think about refraction of light. Hands on is so the way to go!

If you'd like my recording sheet, click the picture to download.

Five for Friday

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope something made the day special for you. The hubby and I had dinner out at a favorite restaurant. It was a bit of a challenge for me, since I started on The Daniel Plan two weeks ago. I'm loving the healthy eating!


Fractions are tough in third grade. Every year it seems like I have to teach them so quickly, but it takes students quite awhile to process the concepts. They need lots of practice, obviously. I wanted something new for them to practice comparing and ordering so I put together an activity with a Valentine theme for them.

I picked up some packages of valentines at the Dollar Tree - if you don't have a dollar store, you may want to stock up after the holiday for next year. I printed out some fraction models with labels and glued them to the back of the valentines. After laminating and cutting, they are ready to sort.

Walmart has these cute Valentine buckets with tops (again, you might want to check for them after the 14th). I labeled them "greater than 1/2", "equal to 1/2", and "less than 1/2". The cards are stored in a gift bag - students just dump them out, sort, and then put them back in the bag.


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My kids loved this book by David Adler. One of the activities in it was these paper plate pizzas. Great for comparing fractions! 


In keeping with the fraction theme, we explored with our fraction bars - both these concrete ones and our online virtual fraction bars. Fractions are always so hard in third grade, but using the manipulatives helps.


My intervention group had a fantastic time playing a multiplication game from Pitner's Poupourri. Click the picture to get this great freebie from her blog. 


And finally, this is why I couldn't post until after school today! We had a great field trip to the Environmental Center, which is operated by our school district. Our morning was spent learning about fossils:


Check out the mammoth tooth fossil!

The kids got to go into one square of this grid and find as many fossils as they could.

After counting and sorting back in the classroom, they could choose three to take home.


Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt

Without prior planning, I have taken my first blog hiatus recently! A two week break is a long time, but I'm ready to get back into it now. This was the post I had been working on before my break - since I've been away for two weeks I'm going to offer half my scavenger hunt as a freebie.

I love reading gingerbread stories at this time of year. They are wonderful for comparing texts since there are so many different versions. Here are a few from my collection:

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Product Details  and more!

Now that I teach math and science, I still want to incorporate the gingerbread man/boy/girl :) into my classroom, so I had a Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt to review multiplication and division. I also adding QR codes to make the task cards self-checking. The QR codes are in a jumbled order so they will print on the back of the problem cards. For my classroom I printed them separately so I could tape the problems to the wall.

You can click the picture to download a set of 12 cards (my complete set includes another 12 problems with two-step problems mixed in).

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